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Friday, 8 June, 2001, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Hague: tributes and criticism
Tory veterans give their views on William Hague's resignation, and express their hopes for the future, as speculation mounts over who will replace him as party leader.
Back in 1977, William Hague seemed destined for high office since he made a precocious speech to the Tory party conference at the tender age of 16. The BBC's political correspondent Shaun Ley looks at his career.
'No man is indispensable'
On June 8 2001, in a dramatic statement outside Conservative Central Office, Mr Hague said he would stand down after four years at the helm as soon as a successor was chosen. "No man is indispensable. No man is more important than the party," he said.
'He got the issues wrong'
Former Deputy PM Michael Heseltine criticised Mr Hague for fighting on the wrong issues and failing to take account of social changes such as the rise of multi-culturalism. He said the party had presented an image of "a right-wing xenophobic party talking to itself in a very introspective way."
'The party of Europe'
Former Tory Home Secretary Lord Brittan said "the Eurosceptic card was played for all it was worth and it was very easily trumped." In his view, the Tories used to be the party of Europe and could be again.
Portillo for leader?
While not naming names himself, Tory vice-chairman Steven Norris said most members were likely to support Michael Portillo. The task now, he added, was to create a party people felt comfortable with.
Former Tory minister Ken Clarke is being mooted as another leadership contender. But he said he needed a period of reflection first, speaking only of the 'sad defeat', and passing on his best wishes to the vanquished.
'We will be back'
Speaking briefly in the aftermath of William Hague's resignation, Baroness Thatcher said it was a disappointing result for him and his supporters after their 'tireless' work. She added: "The Conservative Party will be back."
08 Jun 01 | Talking Point
Was Hague right to resign?
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